Jagex
2.5 of 5 52 reviews
www.Jagex.com Cambridge, United Kingdom 500 to 999 Employees

Jagex Reviews

Updated Jun 13, 2014
Jagex – “140 Cambridge Science Park (Photo thanks to…”

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.5 52 reviews

                             

20% Approve of the CEO

Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard

Mark Gerhard

(20 ratings)

33% of employees recommend this company to a friend
52 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "The people are great, all interesting, capable and all care about the finished product"
    in 6 reviews
  • "Other benefits such as free fruit"
    in 6 reviews
Cons:
  • "In the past senior management was ignorant of the competition and thus lacked vision"
    in 8 reviews
  • "Generally very poor relations between upper management and development teams"
    in 6 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Great team, incredible opportunities, farcical senior management.

    Technology Team Manager (Former Employee)
    Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    ProsInteresting and engaging work, career opportunities based on skill and hard work, workplace culture, work-home life balance, camaraderie and teamwork, friendship, strong technical ability amongst peers.

    ConsSquabbling capricious upper management, CEO with a god complex, one way communication, difficulty making swift moves, average to slightly below average salaries (although excellent benefits package somewhat compensates for this).

    Advice to Senior ManagementAbdicate.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    5 people found this helpful  

    Fun while it lasted, had a good team let down by systemic failures in operations and senior management

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsMade some good mates and there are some very bright, creative people in the studio, unfortunately they're rarely the ones who get promoted.

    Perks - free fruit, table tennis, gym membership.

    ConsCEO is a megalomaniac, surrounded by a sycophantic, dysfunctional leadership team few if any at all even have a games dev background. Jagex has never developed and released a game in 10 years since Runescape (the cash cow). Transformers MMO is almost 2 years behind and over budget, I'm amazed Hasbro has not pulled the plug already.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn to trust, be authentic and show some humility. You're making games... what's more fun than that!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    ProsFree gym members
    free food at night
    free fruit
    department get togethers

    ConsSometimes work late
    office may seem a little cramped some times

    Advice to Senior ManagementMore Squeal of fortune promotions please!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    6 people found this helpful  

    Too many cooks, all making different dogs dinners, with no utensils

    Software Engineer (Former Employee)
    Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    Pros- Was a stable work place in the time I was there. I never had any doubts that I would be paid
    - HR Formalities were very good. A process for everything.
    - The canteen was fantastic. Really the best thing about Jagex.
    - Interesting and intelligent colleagues. There are a lot of friends to be made here.

    Cons- Virtually no ethnic diversity
    - Small age range of staff. Too graduate friendly - which is abused by management knowing that they don't know any better. "Benefits" and parties are dangled at you in the hope it will be enough to make you forget all their sins.
    - The technologies in use are all either old, or proprietry. Meaning you end up with no transferrable skills and rarely learn anything that is useful outside the company walls.
    - Stingy on hardware. Many developers working on 5+ year old machines with poor spec.
    - Truly ridiculous network set up. Architecture makes some tasks that should be trivial into something that can take you days and completely block your work process in the meanwhile.
    - Unable to work from home.
    - Management is very unecessarily secretive and almost everything turns into gossip and is therefore misinterpreted
    - Uninformed management. Many people higher up take decisions on things without doing their due dilligence. In some cases, just pulling rank on issues they know nothing about and have specifically hired experts to do for them.
    - Projects are constantly changed, even down to the last few days before release. Major structural modifications are called for, or large new features demanded with no viable reason or sign off.
    - More than half of the project I worked on were never launched. Incredibly demoralising and frustrating to so regularly have months of you work thrown out the window. Can't imagine how much it must cost them each time.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTrust your staff to do their jobs

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    7 people found this helpful  

    Down the drain since VCs took over, maliciously incompetent management

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    ProsExcellent technical talent, potential friends, and mentors at the ground level
    Fresh fruit daily and good canteen
    Some nice team building / outdoor / party type activities
    Jagex has a very nice location and office within Cambridge at the Science park

    ConsAll the Pros like fun company events, company location, passion for tech etc. are basically a remnant of when someone who actually did something i.e. Gower, a technician himself, created and ran the company. Since the sale to Insight Venture Partners (part of the same ex-Goldman Sachs execs filled cartel that is seemingly buying out half the world nowadays), the company has tanked bad the same way other games they bought like MapleStory have.

    They haven't made a single game since Gower left. You read that right, 500+ people working for 3+ years straight (with plenty of overtime I might add, for games that have been "around the corner" for all 3 of those years) haven't made so much as a flash clone of space invaders. RuneScape was built solo by Gower and renovated before IVP came in, same with FunOrb. War of Legends was leased from a chinese company, and Ace of Spades was also purchased from outside and mangled.

    Any work you put in this company, regardless of quality, will be completely useless and thrown away at a whim. Don't ever expect to ever actually come out with a finished product that uses your work. Since the takeover, games like MechScape / Stellar Dawn have been worked on for years then suddenly have the plug pulled on them, throwing all work away on a complete whim. Same with Transformers, after years of work and almost being finished, the incompetent management decides to switch genres on a whim and do the entire game over. Would've been nice if they thought of that before starting, or at least before practically finishing? Deadlines are meaningless and only exist to pressure for overtime.

    The existing game of RuneScape (Run!Escape, before your kids get addicted to gambling!) has been mangled beyond belief to ruin player experience but churn out as much profit for IVP as possible before the inevitable collapse. It wouldn't be so bad doing pointless work if you got paid well for it, or at least advanced career wise. The pay scale is terrible though and regardless of performance your raises will barely keep up with inflation. Promotions and higher positions are reserved for generic incompetent MBAs and their sycophantic friends that run things without ever having any experience in tech, software or gaming whatsoever. None of these guys have ever written a line of code in anything other than power point in their lives, and none of them will be working the overtime they expect from you, so don't expect any empathy or actual direction. They exist for the sole purpose of self-preservation.

    Really at this point this is a spoilt-banker owned tech sweat shop, waste time here at your own risk.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNothing, because they're not about to fire themselves are they? From their perspectives everything is great as long as they get to leech money off the RuneScape cash cow until it's inevitable death, then move on to the next victim. All with a deeper "management" resume to boot.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Horrible, absolutely appaling

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsYou get a pay that's higher than minimum wage? That's pretty much it. Oh and the benefits that we get, such as free fruit and gym membership.

    ConsExtremely low paying job, less than a elementary school teacher.
    Long work hours.
    High pressure and stress.
    Atrocious senior management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLISTEN. TO. YOUR. EMPLOYEES. LISTEN. TO. YOUR. PLAYERS.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Awful, aboslutely horrible.

    Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee)
    Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    ProsNice people, higher management is terrible though

    ConsConstant overtime, always needing somethign to be done, AKEID.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBlah blah blah

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    5 people found this helpful  

    Inept management, great colleagues.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    ProsMany great and highly skilled people work for the company
    Good location
    Friendly staff

    ConsUnfortunately none of those great people are in executive positions.
    Executives are spiteful and will pursue personal vendettas against other companies even if it damages their own and results in projects having to be delayed or canned.

    Tight schedules set by executives for projects are often torpedoed by last minute changes by executives, and then just as those changes are implemented deciding to change back again resulting in the project either losing quality, being late and over-budget, or cancelled with the blame falling on the staff working on it.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    8 people found this helpful  

    Like working on Duke Nukem Forever, forever

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGood perks - AXA healthcare, canteen, fruit baskets, gym membership. You can be promoted when you don't deserve it by keeping your head down, and taking credit for as much as possible.

    ConsThanks to the RuneScape cash cow and the introduced gambling mechanics, Jagex can keep blundering on for another couple of years.

    Off the top of my head: falsifies reviews on glassdoor, HR slaves to senior management/directors, unethical practices - falsifies/manipulates information internally and externally, no career progression, uneven pay scales - under/over pays staff, salary can remain static for years, too many managers fighting fires, managers promoted for failure, lessons never learnt, blame culture, elitism, staff intimidated into overtime, declining player-base much lower than indicated, directors design the game, glass bubble development - every day practice is nuts and very costly, high-turnover of staff - particularly the best, topdown decision-making, and regular changes in direction are followed with justifications that you know aren't true or the real reasons.

    Terrible record with planning, developing games and communication. Hasn't actually developed and released any games over it's 10+ year existence apart from 8Realms which took too long, made huge losses and was shutdown:

    - RuneScape - Created and released by the Gowers before Jagex was formed.
    - RuneScape 2 and 3 - Is actually just a content update/refactor.
    - Mechscape - Was canned making huge losses.
    - Stellar Dawn - Was Mechscape and was then canned a few years later making huge losses.
    - Transformers 3 - Is neither Mechscape or Stellar Dawn but has gone wildly over-budget and late due to incompetence at the managerial level. Unlikely to ever be released. Like the former games. Has been made a few times over already.
    - Ace of Spades - Was bought from the creator and players have voted Jagex's alterations have made the game worse.
    - War of Legends - Was bought from a chinese company.
    - FunOrb - Was a nice idea, but was basically a poorly executed team of bedroom developers who made mini-games. Incidentally the company still charges a subscription for FunOrb players despite not supporting any of the existing games or new development for years. This was never communicated to the players.

    Don't join Jagex to make computer games. Actually just don't join.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to the advice.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Worked close to 3 years.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsFun work environment, Many new ideas, some peers are nice, free food.

    ConsNever stick to one idea, Constantly changing the things that don't need to be changed, Upper management didn't care about the underdogs, lack of customer appreciation and this company really doesn't know how to learn from it's mistakes.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn from your mistakes and listen to your employees.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Jagex reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard. All 52 reviews posted anonymously by Jagex employees.